Iraq asked to free Europeans

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The Independent Online
Baghdad (AFP) - Three Swedes and two Britons imprisoned in Iraq for having illegally entered the country have appealed to Baghdad to free them, diplomats said yesterday. A diplomat from Russia - which is charged with looking after British affairs in Baghdad - said the court could issue a ruling 'this week' in the cases of two Britons, Paul Ride, 33, and Michael Wainwright, 42.

Mr Ride was sentenced to seven years and Mr Wainwright to 10 years in prison. The three Swedes, Leif Westberg, 42, Christer Stroemgren, 43, and Stefan Wihlborg, 32 - arrested in September and sentenced to seven years each - are hoping for clemency, a Swedish diplomat said.